Adams welcomes IRA statement
Gerry Adams last night welcomed the IRA statement as ``good news'' and cautioned against those who are attempting to downplay the IRA's efforts.
``It is a difficult thing for the IRA to do and it will cause some difficulty for republicans,'' he said. Adams said that the Óglaigh na hÉireann move was made despite a complete failure by the British Government to follow through on their commitments to the peace process. ``In areas such as South Armagh we have seen a remilitarisation by the British Army. If one asks the people there, or the people of Divis Flats, there has been no change so far,'' Adams said. He called on the British government to match the IRA's commitment to the process.
Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on policing, told An Phoblacht that he belkieved the IRA's statement would surprise many republicans, who have witnessed the reneging of the British government, its minimalist approach to demilitarisation and policing and to other commitments given in May.
``The IRA leadership has obviously taken a long-headed view of the process,'' he said, ``despite what I am sure is their own anger at the behaviour of the British.
``This is another of a series of initiatives taken by the IRA keadershop over the past couple of years to try to have a positive impact on the peace process and to move it forward.''
Reacting to negative comments from the UUP's Jeffrey Donaldson, Kelly said: ``I have been listening all day to Jeffrey. He is advocating that unionists should try and close the Executive, wrap up the All-Ireland bodies and do away with the Assembly as it sits and turn it into a talking shop. This is not imaginative. Indeed, it is not even new. We had it before with the Forum, which Sinn Féin refused to be a part of, because it was a talking shop, and from which the SDLP also pulled out after a short time.
``Unionists need to stand up to the No men like Jeffrey Donaldson. The British Government and the unionists need to follow the example of the IRA's bold and pivotal step today.
``All sides have to fulfill their obligations. The Agreement has to be implemented in full. Deadlines and ultimatums must be avoided, and we must all work together to ensure the succes of the peace process.''